When I first read about that I was like, oh, yeah right, like that is a great way to promote safety in Oakland. Having at-risk youth helping you to your cars, cleaning up, giving you directions? Sounded to me at first, like a sure way to get an already lost passenger to be the center of a mugging plot. But then I kept on reading and I thought about it some more.
I have to admit that if properly monitored and evaluated, this would be a great way to help at risk youth become a true part of the community. For them to want to trust the community and leave a positive mark, we have to trust them too.
It's worth a try and could become something life changing for these kids. When I first heard about Delancey Street restaurant in SF, I had a negative reaction too, but who says people don't deserve a second chance?
However, I may be a bit of a hypocrite. I don't want to have escorts in ALL the BART stations. I don't think escorts are necessary in all the stations. I think at-risk youth program aside, we definitely need escorts at SFO and OAK stations for travelers. We need at-platform-level info booth at key transfer stations (or easy phone access to TOs who are willing to help) too for travelers.